Professional wrestlers have often been viewed as superhuman heroes and villains in a constant war of good and evil seen by thousands live and millions on television. So what kind of person would think it’s a good idea to run into a wrestling ring and assault one of the wrestlers? Believe it or not, it happens more often than you would think. In a lot of those fights, the average Joe fan has actually 'won' a good percentage of them.
Through the years of professional wrestling history, the kinds of fan-wrestler altercations have varied. There are the times when a fan attacks a wrestler during a match or promo and has to be taken away by security. There are also the situations where a wrestler is attacked out of nowhere both in the ring and outside the arena they are performing at.
Then there are stories where a wrestler may have started an argument with the wrong person at the wrong time (i.e. members of the United States Marine Corps). Despite looking like some of the toughest athletes in all of sports, wrestlers are also human despite how they are portrayed in the squared circle.
One would assume the wrestlers who lose these fights are the kind who are on the lower-tier of the match card. But even some of the best to compete from WWE to WCW and all the way down to the independent circuit have lost fights with fans. The following is a list of the top 15 pro wrestlers who have lost fights to regular people.
15 15. The Messiah
William Welch has been known as one of the toughest men on the independent circuit. He’s most noted for his work with Combat Zone Wrestling – a promotion known for ultra-violent wrestling. However, The Messiah had a rough altercation in 2002 involving two men who came to his apartment. Welch thought the two were friends of his roommate. But it was believed they were sent by someone as hired attackers.
14 14. Braun Strowman
Braun Strowman might be the worst possible choice for a fan to attack at a WWE event. The former strongman would certainly look the part of someone who could legitimately rip someone to shreds. However, one fan during a March 2016 RAW dark match decided to test Strowman. In a tag team match after RAW went off the air, Strowman was at ringside leaning on the barricade near the crowd.
13 13. Lio Rush
There has been a lot of buzz surrounding the young Lio Rush. He’s only 22 years old and he’s already become a big attraction for major independent wrestling promotions like Combat Zone Wrestling and Ring of Honor. But despite being a rising star in professional wrestling, even a young kid is going to attract some hate in the audience. There is little to explain what led to the incident in question, however.
12 12. Chris Hero
While he has returned to the WWE as Kassius Ohno in NXT, Chris Hero has a long history of being one of the best independent wrestling stars in the last decade. However, he’s often found himself getting into some trouble with the fans. There was some back and forth between Hero and a couple of fans during a 2007 show with Independent Wrestling Association, which is considered normal for indie promotions.
11 11. Raven
Professional wrestling in the 1990s seemed to have a lot of problems with fans who took the show a little bit too seriously. During an episode of WCW Thunder during the height of the Monday Night War, Raven was cutting a promo about Diamond Dallas Page. Raven was sitting in a corner of the ring as a fan came from behind to pull him out of the ring to attack. Security had to pull the fan off of the WCW United States Champion.
10 10. Alberto Del Rio
Ever since he joined WWE and repackaged himself from his family’s Dos Caras legacy, Alberto Del Rio has become one of the best heels in professional wrestling. He was able to portray the kind of heel that fans would think about wanting to punch right in an effort to wipe his confident smile off his face. But one fan decided to try his best during a 2015 show by World Wrestling Council in Puerto Rico.
9 9. John “Bradshaw” Layfield
John “Bradshaw” Layfield has often been viewed as a bully behind the scenes in the WWE. There was likely a large number of WWE Superstars backstage who wanted to secretly, or some not so much, knock him out. However, one person who would actually do that was not the kind of person you would have expected. During a trip back from Iraq for Tribute to the Troops, there was an incident involving JBL and announcer Joey Styles.
8 8. Ole Anderson
Wrestling fans today are certainly aware that the action is scripted and nothing, for the most part, should be taken personal. However, professional wrestling in the 1970s was a completely different culture. One where many wrestling fans thought everything happening was legitimate. It was a time when it was a well-kept secret from the public. That would lead to a number of incidents like the one Ole Anderson had in 1976.
7 7. Blackjack Mulligan
Blackjack Mulligan was a big name in professional wrestling through the 1970s. He was inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame after being a successful tag team champion during his career. He had one big match against Pedro Morales for the WWE Heavyweight Championship in 1971, during the time when the WWE was a territorial promotion focused in the Northeast part of the United States.
6 6. Randy Orton
Some wrestling fans who are crazy enough to run into the ring to approach a wrestler certainly must have a lot of confidence. In the case of one fan during a 2013 WWE live event in Cape Town, South Africa, some would feel he showed he had the “cajones” to attack Randy Orton. Others would say he attacked in a cowardly fashion by striking him where the sun doesn’t shine.
5 5. “Classy” Freddie Blassie
One of the greatest managers in professional wrestling history also had a pretty successful in-ring career as well. “Classy” Freddie Blassie came from the territorial days of wrestling’s history where the secret of wrestling being predetermined was still kept under lock and key. But during his career as a heel, both as a wrestler and a manager, Blassie found himself in fights with fans on a consistent basis.
4 4. Kevin Nash
Believe it or not, there are people who really disliked Kevin Nash. We know, the guy who claimed Chris Benoit and Eddie Guerrero were “vanilla midgets” and also claimed The Rock was “gay” seems like such a stand-up guy. But even when he was booked as a face, there were fans who didn’t like Nash. There was a feud when “Macho Man’ Randy Savage was the heel against the babyface Nash in 1999.
3 3. “Rowdy” Roddy Piper
It was mentioned earlier that wrestling fans in the past would have a true hatred for the villains in the ring. “Rowdy” Roddy Piper was one of the best in the business and really should have been a world champion either for WWE or WCW. But that’s another argument for another article. Piper had his altercations with fans. But he recalled an incident during a small show in Raleigh, N.C., where a fan was waving a knife calling Piper out.
2 2. Killer Kowalski
Trained by Lou Thesz, Killer Kowalski was one of the toughest men in the wrestling industry during a time when it was viewed as a legitimate sport. On top of that, Kowalski was certainly one of the best villains in the industry. Fans would regularly attack him with several different items thrown at him over the years. This would include but is not limited to, pigs ears, cigars and apple cores.
1 1. Shawn Michaels
If there was any type of person you would never want to upset, it would be the men and women of the United States Marine Corps. Honestly, any kind of military service member is trained to take out any kind of opponent. But the Marines have a special kind of training that separates them from the pack. Shawn Michaels, along with Davey Boy Smith and Sean Waltman, learned that lesson the hard way.
The story is that the three wrestlers were at a bar in Syracuse, NY, in 1995 and got into an argument with a group of U.S. Marines. A brawl ensued and it did not end well for any of the wrestlers, especially for the Heartbreak Kid. In a 2011 interview, Justin Credible was asked about the incident and said he saw what happened. He followed it up with stating that Michaels was beaten up pretty bad.
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